Two universities to kick off gap year programme

Idris-JusohSUBANG JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry’s first Gap Year Programme – which allows students to take a year off studies to work – will involve four government agencies.

The four are: the police, the armed forces, the National Service Programme and the Civil Defence Department.

In announcing this, Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh said the programme would begin in September and involve students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara.

He said students from the two public institutions would be able to choose to take a year off their studies to serve the country through any of the four government agencies.

“This is nothing new, they have gap programmes in Europe,” Idris said when officiating at the 21st Malaysian Education Summit. “In Malaysia, we are doing this with national service programmes.”

He told reporters later: “This programme can promote better unity and patriotism, and encourage volunteerism among our students.”

It is learnt that the Gap Year Programme will only be open to Year 2 and Year 3 students.

It is also understood that the four agencies will have a quota on the number of students they will take in, and interested students can volunteer to join the agency of their choice.

It was previously reported that the programme would involve eight universities.